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Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) Thin Film

With thin film industry growth being driven by increasingly complex optical/ microelectronic devices, as well as intense photonics and hyperspectral imaging, it may be a good time to take a closer look at properties of materials and why enhanced processes are often critical for the most sophisticated applications.

Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) - The most critical low-index material in classical optical stack. For evaporation or sputtering, SiO2 can be crystalline or amorphous in nature – and very easy to overlook when considering expanding capabilities outside of the VIS spectrum. While it is true that physical vapor deposition (PVD) relies on a small group of mature silica products, the role of water and reaction contaminants is the core difference between synthetic SiO2 and Melted/ Fused SiO2.

If you observe your SiO2 granules and compare them to your fused silica (FS) substrates or targets, you will note a series of differences. Beyond the simple fact that the substrate should be far more transparent than irregular granules, the pieces may range from clear to cloudy to the naked eye. Additionally, there are even more dramatic factors and lingering effects.